A little more about dread process; a quick look/review of various gadgets.
We’re going to get extra nerdy and picky here.
As I have mentioned, I’m a bit of a gadget hound. It’s something I have inherited from my father, I suppose. But I have come to see the value in ‘single use’ devices; I don’t read on the iPad, for example, as I find it a distraction factory. I’ve owned Kindles ever since the very first one, and for reading what would otherwise be huge damn tomes, it’s excellent. Since I started writing this blog, I found value in taking notes about what I read– and in general, it’s a good practice. I could just use a pen and paper, but where’s the value in all that when people make gadgets that replicate pen and paper? I have a Remarkable2.
To be fair, there’s more to it than just ‘fake e-ink paper). You can import/export notes to different devices (as pdfs), you can reorganize your notebook as desired (handy for keeping series together), and a bunch of other theoretically handy things I do not use. It does well, at least for my uses of it, and I have found myself using it for other things (for example, taking notes/drawing chord diagrams about songs I am learning, etc.).
The newest Kindle, the scribe, is theoretically a chocolate and peanut butter combination of a notebook tablet and a reading device. It sort of violates the single use device philosophy, but the idea of taking notes in the books directly is a good one, and one I was hoping to embrace on a recent trip– not having two devices to juggle on a plane is handy, etc. But honestly, I found the whole thing a bit meh.
Mostly, the issue is the manner in which notes in a book are taken. Rather than being a continuous sheet that you add to, the Scribe simulates the experience of adding post-its (or scrawling in the margins) to pages within the book.
The main issue with that is it’s hard to review them. You can look at all your notes at once, but they are presented in big blocks– the same holds true for emailing them to yourself.
Furthermore, there’s no way to access all the notes without creating a new one, and on occasion I would find myself making a ‘dummy’ note in order to review previous ones. The notes, as well, are attached to the books– the only way to access them is to bring the book back up, find a note, and then look at them collectively.
It’s… not ideal. In theory, this could be fixed with software updates. But I don’t know if my use of the device is in line with the design of it. In other words, what I want and what I’ll get are two different things.
As for reading on it, well, it’s an oversized Kindle. At this point, Kindles of almost any variety (from the cheapest on up) are best in class reading devices. I kind of like the page buttons on the Oasis, but not having them hasn’t killed me, and I like the larger format, especially for my day to day, normal reading. But for my ‘normal’ note taking, I think I’m gonna stick with the Remarkable.
What I am reading:
“I is Another” — the second book in Fosse’s Septology. Gonna start again from the beginning as, while I have notes, I find his writing rewards close reading.
“Moby Dick”— back at it. Expect thoughts.
I recently finished “The Thing in the Snow” and I recommend it highly to fans of absurdist comedies. I found it hilarious, but I can imagine some people wanting to throw it into a corner.